Working out on a low carb diet is excellent, as long as a dieter knows how to work out and eat. While on the keto diet, which is a low carb, high-fat diet, it’s essential to know which foods to eat. Focusing on eating the right foods can not only improve weight loss (if that’s the goal) but also maintains stamina. Also, it promotes feeling well before and after a workout. Wondering what type of foods to focus on eating while on a low carb diet? IN addition to reading about which foods are best to eat in the Body Reboot book, we give you a list of 5 of the best low carb workout foods below:
1. Protein bars
Protein bars are perfect for eating on keto, as long as they’re keto-friendly. Perfect Keto makes keto-friendly bars, and if you look at your local grocery store, you should be able to find a few low carb bars. If the bars have too many carbs, it’s best to leave them behind because even though you’ll burn carbs during your workout, that doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of them before or after a workout.
It’s hard to find a keto-friendly protein bar. Most of them have way too many carbs. Even worse — those carbs often come from straight-up sugar.
Too many carbs spike your blood glucose, which raises your insulin levels, which slams the door on ketosis. And with high insulin levels — a fat storage hormone — you can’t lose fat.
Keeping your blood sugar low, on the other hand, keeps you in keto mode — and keto helps you lose weight, burn fat, and preserve muscle.
So yes, you want to stay in keto.
But you also want something quick after a workout. Something high in protein that won’t kick you out of ketosis. Something without artificial flavors, artificial colors, or sugar alcohols.
One option — maybe the only bona fide “keto-friendly” option — is the Perfect Keto Bar. With 10 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar, this is a fantastic (and delicious) option for keto gym-goers.
Speaking of keto, how about drinking some ketones post-workout?
2. MCT oil
Have you heard of MCT oil? According to Perfect Keto, this oil is a perfect staple to have while on the keto diet, and while you’re working out. Adding MCT oil to your food can put you in ketosis rather quickly (which means your body burns fat instead of glucose). MCT is excellent to add to your post-workout shake or meal to promote weight loss and staying in ketosis.
MCT oil — or medium chain triglyceride oil — is a type of fat derived from coconut oil. You’ve probably heard of it, maybe even had some.
The nice thing about MCT oil? Adding some to drinks or meals — even just a few grams — can get you into ketosis pretty quickly.
That’s because, unlike other fats, MCT oil heads straight to your liver for ketone conversion. MCT oil is your keto-shortcut — an easy hack to raise blood BHB levels.
And higher BHB levels, you just learned, synergize with leucine to preserve and repair muscle tissue.
Getting ketones and leucine together is simple. Just add MCT oil — or MCT oil powder — to your post-workout protein shake.
A study by Life Science in 1998 explains why MCT oil (aka fatty acids) is an incredible keto-shortcut. It also raises BHB levels, which helps you feel more energetic and lose weight.
Fatty acids undergo different metabolic fates depending on their chain length and degree of saturation. The purpose of this review is to examine the metabolic handling of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) with specific reference to intermediary metabolism and postprandial and total energy expenditure. The metabolic discrimination between varying fatty acids begins in the GI tract, with MCFA being absorbed more efficiently than long chain fatty acids (LFCA). Subsequently, MCFA are transported in the portal blood directly to the liver, unlike LCFA which are incorporated into chylomicrons and transported through lymph. These structure based differences continue through the processes of fat utilization; MCFA enter the mitochondria independently of the carnitine transport system and undergo preferential oxidation. Variations in ketogenic and lipogenic capacity also exist. Such metabolic discrimination is supported by data in animals and humans showing increases in postprandial energy expenditure after short term feeding with MCFA. In long term MCFA feeding in animals, weight accretion has been attenuated. These differences in metabolic handling of MCFA versus LCFA are considered with the conclusion that MCFA hold potential as weight loss agents.
Eggs are a keto staple, and according to Runtastic, they’re also ideal for eating prior and after a workout. Their many nutrients help your body recover and also provides it with exactly what it needs to maintain the keto diet.
Eggs – whether it's sunny side up, soft-boiled or scrambled – are a great pre-workout snack when consumed one hour before your training. Within one hour post-workout, eggs support muscle growth and the recovery of your muscle fibers.
Eggs boast a great bioavailability of all nutrients, with the highest content of essential amino acids, for instance. What makes them special is their content of nutrients like folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B Vitamins and secondary plant products.
4. Fresh berries
Fresh berries are delicious, and according to Men’s Health, they’re also a great source of antioxidants. Berries such as raspberries and strawberries are low carb and taste great too. Grab a few on the go or eat some post-workout.
Most fruit isn’t really keto-approved, but berries in moderation are. “For a natural boost, I suggest grabbing a small serving of fresh berries pre-workout,” Hultin says. “Relatively low in net carbs, berries offer complex carbohydrates and antioxidants to fuel your workout.”
Feel free to pair with yogurt, nut butter, or some cheese for a bit more sustenance.
Avocado is delicious to have on keto, and Perfect Keto also explains why avocado is perfect for adding to your workout meal. Just check out its many macronutrients below – incredible!
One cup of avocado contains the following macronutrients:
22 grams fat
4 grams protein
13 grams carbohydrate
Wait, isn’t 13 grams of carbs too high?
Not in the presence of dietary fiber. The thing is, an avocado has 10 grams of fiber — and this fiber offsets the carb load by limiting your blood sugar response.
To put it mathematically: 13 grams carbs – 10 grams fiber = 3 grams net carbs.
And so, for your keto purposes, you only need to count 3 grams of carbs from an avocado. Phew.
Avocados are strong in the micronutrient department too. In just one cup of this green fruit, you have:
42% of your daily vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid — for energy production
35% of your daily vitamin K — for blood clotting
30% of your daily folate — for energy, metabolism, and DNA repair
21% of your daily vitamin E — for antioxidant defense
A study by Vitamine Horm. in 1991 tells us that avocado energy production from vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid helps fight disease and keeps your energy up. In other words, having some avocado can help your body perform well thanks to its many nutrients!
In summary, the vitamin pantothenic acid is an integral part of the acylation carriers, CoA and acyl carrier protein (ACP). The vitamin is readily available from diverse dietary sources, a fact which is underscored by the difficulty encountered in attempting to induce pantothenate deficiency. Although pantothenic acid deficiency has not been linked with any particular disease, deficiency of the vitamin results in generalized malaise clinically. In view of the fact that pantothenate is required for the synthesis of CoA, it is surprising that tissue CoA levels are not altered in pantothenate deficiency. This suggests that the cell is equipped to conserve its pantothenate content, possibly by a recycling mechanism for utilizing pantothenate obtained from degradation of pantothenate-containing molecules. Although the steps involved in the conversion of pantothenate to CoA have been characterized, much remains to be done to understand the regulation of CoA synthesis. In particular, in view of what is known about the in vitro regulation of pantothenate kinase, it is surprising that the enzyme is active in vivo, since factors that are known to inhibit the enzyme are present in excess of the concentrations known to inhibit the enzyme. Thus, other physiological regulatory factors (which are largely unknown) must counteract the effects of these inhibitors, since the pantothenate-to-CoA conversion is operative in vivo. Another step in the biosynthetic pathway that may be rate limiting is the conversion of 4′-phosphopantetheine (4′-PP) to dephospho-CoA, a step catalyzed by 4′-phosphopantetheine adenylyl-transferase. In mammalian systems, this step may occur in the mitochondria or in the cytosol. The teleological significance of these two pathways remains to be established, particularly since mitochondria are capable of transporting CoA from the cytosol. Altered homeostasis of CoA has been observed in diverse disease states including starvation, diabetes, alcoholism, Reye syndrome (RS), medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, and certain tumors. Hormones, such as glucocorticoids, insulin, and glucagon, as well as drugs, such as clofibrate, also affect tissue CoA levels. It is not known whether the abnormal metabolism observed in these conditions is the result of altered CoA metabolism or whether CoA levels change in response to hormonal or nonhormonal perturbations brought about in these conditions. In other words, a cause-effect relation remains to be elucidated. It is also not known whether the altered CoA metabolism (be it cause or result of abnormal metabolism) can be implicated in the manifestations of a disease. Besides CoA, pantothenic acid is also an integral part of the ACP molecule.
In conclusion, Keto Mojo gives us an excellent summary and additional tips on what to eat while working out on keto. Protein, fat, and protein shakes are all great for you, and remember, always listen to your body.
Eat protein: it’s great to include before exercise because it gives your muscles the amino acids it needs to perform and repair themselves during exercise.
Eat fat: it’s your primary energy source on a ketogenic diet, so adding fat before exercise gives your body more energy to call on.
Eat a full meal, if works for you: Though not everyone can stomach a big meal before exercising, a full meal before a workout ensures you get enough fat and protein to fuel performance.
Or drink a protein shake with MCTs: It’ll ensure you have a fast-digesting protein and fat source your body can access shortly after eating, without having to worry about being too full to perform.
Working out on the keto diet is a fantastic weight to expedite weight loss, and also help you feel better inside and out! We wrote the Body Reboot book to encourage people to lose weight and keep it off. Help us cover shipping and visit this page to get your FREE copy today!
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Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals!